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Week 9 DraftKings NFL Tiers Picks Using Awesemo’s NEW Tiers Projections Tool

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Expert Week 9 NFL DFS DraftKings Tiers picks using Awesemo's NEW Tiers Projection Tool to make optimal lineups | Lamar Jackson + Marquise Brown Stack

As Week 9’s Sunday slate approaches, look to use the NFL DFS projections and the new DraftKings NFL Tiers Projections Tool as a sneak peek for projected and optimal ownership, which yields the overall leverage over the field for each of the eight tiers. Below we will break down the best picks from the tiers, using the new tool to help identify the top players from various pricing levels.

Week 9 NFL DFS DraftKings Tiers Projections & Picks

Tier 1 Pick: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Awesemo Ownership Projection: 27.3%

Optimal: 34.3%

Leverage: 7%

The Vikings will travel to Baltimore in a game featuring the second-highest total on the slate (50), favoring the Ravens by 6 points. Jackson enters as the best leverage option of Tier 1 and ranks as a top-10 leverage play overall. The Ravens have the fourth-highest implied total (27.5) in the NFL and look to bounce back following their disastrous performance in Week 7, a 41-17 defeat to the Bengals. Minnesota has allowed the ninth-fewest DraftKings points (18.6) to the quarterback position but have faced Cooper Rush, Sam Darnold, Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield in consecutive weeks. Back in Week 2 Minnesota allowed 38.1 points to Kyler Murray on a massive stat line: 29-for-36 for 400 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions, with five additional rushes for 31 yards and a touchdown. Jackson is more than capable of these breakout games, with a 45.9- and a 37.3-pointer on his belt this season. He has scored more than 20 DraftKings points in six of seven this year. With his high floor and even higher ceiling, lock in Jackson with confidence.

Tier 2 Pick: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers

Awesemo Ownership Projection: 23.5%

Optimal: 18%

Leverage: -5.5%

Los Angeles flies cross country to Philadelphia for a game with the second-highest total (50) on the slate, favoring the road Chargers by 1.5. Each defense has struggled, ranking in the bottom half of points allowed and in the bottom 10 in third-down conversion rate. These defensive weaknesses make for a high-scoring games given both these offenses can move the ball and score points. The Eagles defense has allowed the fourth-most points (31.3) to the running back position this season and are fifth worst in the red zone (9.1 points per game). Struggles extend to the passing game, where they have allowed the third-most receptions (7.6) and targets (8.8) per game. Ekeler has the third-most targets (42) at the running back position while also carrying the sixth-most red-zone touches (28). Already with five games of 107 yards or more, he brings some of the best opportunity on the slate.

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Tier 3 Pick: Stefon Diggs, Buffalo Bills

Awesemo Ownership Projection: 17.6%

Optimal: 25.4%

Leverage: 7.9%

Tier 3 features some tough options, so defaulting to ownership leverage and predicted success feels like a safe play. Diggs slightly edges Ja’Marr Chase in leverage score for the tier and faces a matchup that has struggled against the pass. Jacksonville has allowed the fourth-most yards passing per game (278.1) and the seventh-most DraftKings points (43.2) to the wide receiver position, leading to Buffalo holding the highest implied total (31.5) of Week 9. Do not expect the Bills to take their opponent lightly, coming off a difficult offensive showing against the Dolphins last week ー a 26-11 win where they only scored 3 points in the first half. Buffalo’s offense was humming Weeks 2 through 6, scoring over 31 points per game, and Diggs has been a major part in making them click. Diggs sees the fourth-most red-zone targets (12) and 12th-most targets (64). Jacksonville has allowed 8.6 yards per pass attempt (second worst) and will face a Bills offense with the sixth-most pass attempts per game.

Tier 5 Pick: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Awesemo Ownership Projection: 11.1%

Optimal: 6.7%

Leverage: -4.4%

The lowest-owned option of the slate, Cousins enters this matchup with the sixth-most pass attempts (274) in the NFL and faces a Baltimore defense that allows the fifth-most yards per pass attempt (7.8). With the emergence of K.J. Osborn and Tyler Conklin, Cousins has legitimate options alongside Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen. Each is capable of exploiting the opposing team’s secondary, and Cousins has done a phenomenal job of distributing targets to all of his personnel. Targeting underdog quarterbacks in games with high totals unlocks additional pass game opportunities given game script. Baltimore’s defense is never one to take lightly, but it has struggled to tackle this season and allows the most yards passing per game (296.1). Their stoutness against the run does not extend to covering running backs in the past, as they have allowed 64.6 yards receiving per game to the position, third worst in the NFL. With so many options to exploit the pass defense of Baltimore, snag the lowest-owned healthy quarterback on the slate to maximize leverage.

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Tier 7 Pick: Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

Awesemo Ownership Projection: 20.8%

Optimal: 9.8%

Leverage: -11%

Despite holding a poor leverage score, the opportunity for an explosion is impossible to pass up. Stacking Jackson with Brown against the Vikings is advantageous, as Minnesota has allowed the second-most DraftKings points (45) to wide receivers this season, and Brown has seen the 15th-highest target share in the NFL (25.6%). The Vikings defense has allowed 11.5 yards per completion and has already given up 20 receptions over 20 yards this season. Minnesota has struggled against the deep ball, allowing touchdowns of 50, 73 and 77 yards through the first seven weeks. Brown has the second-most deep targets (18) in the NFL, leading to the eighth-most air yards (825). Facing a secondary that is injured and leaky, look for Jackson to find Brown speeding over the top.

Brown is also popping in the standard NFL DFS projections, which Alex Hunter breaks down in his weekly Optimal Lineup and Leverage article. Check out how great Brown looks in Awesemo’s premium Optimal Lineup Tool.


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Take a look at our NFL depth chart list, inactive players and NFL starting line-ups. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL football for multiple game slates, head over to NFL DFS ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and NFL stacks. View our FanDuel NFL rankings and our DraftKings NFL rankings. We also have NFL showdown projections and NFL single-game ownership projections.
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